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8 bits of plastic you can quit today

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Think you’re powerless about plastic pollution? Wrong!
Here are 8 everyday plastic items you can quit today and help the environment.

Don’t think it’s possible to live life without plastic, or at least live with less of it? Wrong!

Reducing our use of surplus or single-use disposable plastic items is one of the biggest things we can do as individuals to combat the menace.

Every year it’s estimated 5-13 million tons of plastic enter our oceans: refuse single-use plastic These are all items we can easily avoid and live without. By refusing single-use disposable plastic products, we can all make a huge difference. Source: BrightVibes

Main Photo: Zak Noyle/FB/PlasticPollutionCoalition

By 2050, the oceans may contain more plastic than fish by weight

In his excellent article ‘A Plastic Smog Is Smothering Our Oceans’ for Huffington Post, Dr. Chad Nelson laid out some sobering statistics:

In the US alone, about 100 billion plastic bags are used annually. That’s around 360 bags a year for each person in the country. Every day, more than 500 million plastic straws are discarded. For every 167 disposable water bottles the average American uses, only 38 are recycled. Less than 5% of plastic bags are recycled. Recent studies predict that unless action is taken, by 2050, there will be more plastic by weight than fish in our oceans. See full article here.

But what can we do? Well for a start we can use real stuff

Enjoy your celebrations with friends and family, and don't forget to use real stuff! By using 'Real Stuff' like glass, ceramic, cloth and steel, which are all reusable and therefore a healthier option for the environment, we can all fight the tide of plastic.
“Use real stuff!” – The Plastic Pollution Coalition Enjoy your celebrations with friends and family, and don’t forget to use real stuff! By using ‘Real Stuff’ like glass, ceramic, cloth and steel, which are all reusable and therefore a healthier option for the environment, we can all fight the tide of plastic. Source: Facebook/PlasticPollutionCoalition

Here are the 8 suggestions, but can you think of more?

  1. Plastic cutlery – Embrace reusable cutlery.
  2. Straws – Simply sip your drink.
  3. Bottled water – Drink from the tap or take a reusable bottle with you.
  4. Takeaway coffee cups – Buy a reusable cup instead.
  5. Plastic toothbrushes – Use a bamboo toothbrush.
  6. Plastic shopping bags – Carry a reusable bag when you go shopping.
  7. Takeaway containers – Cover dishes with a plate, use and reuse your Ziploc bags.
  8. Plastic wrapped toilet paper –  Buy toilet paper this wrapped in paper, preferably buy recycled.

If you can think of any more, fantastic! There’s a link at the end of the article where you’ll find 100 more suggestions towards a plastic-free life!

What can you do right now to make a real difference? Take the 4Rs Pledge!

  • REFUSE disposable plastic whenever and wherever possible. Choose items that are not packaged in plastic, and carry your own bags, containers and utensils. Say "No straw, please." 
  • REUSE durable, non-toxic straws, utensils, take-out containers, bottles, bags, and other everyday items. Choose glass, paper, stainless steel, wood, ceramic and bamboo over plastic.
  • REDUCE your plastic footprint. Cut down on your consumption of goods that contain excessive plastic packaging and parts. If it will leave behind plastic trash, don’t buy it. 
  • RECYCLE what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse. Pay attention to the entire life cycle of items you bring into your life, from source to manufacturing to distribution to disposal.

Take the 4Rs Pledge over at the Plastic Pollution Coalition website, and find out more about how you can help.

Make an Impact

8 things not enough? How about 100 steps to a plastic-free life?

This list is not meant to be overwhelming, but simply to show what is possible. Choose a few that seem doable and that will make the most impact. No one can do it all at once. But we can all get started!